Why I Will Not Be Using My Vango Tent for the Pacific Crest Trail

I genuinely love this tent but allow me to explain why I will not be using my Vango Banshee tent for th Pacific Crest Trail.

You see, I am a sucker when it comes to romanticizing over my outdoor gear. For example, I bought my Vango Banshee 200 several years ago for one reason – it was cheap. As you might expect from the pictures, it was also quite small for carrying around which also appealed but honestly, I bought the tent because it was one of the cheapest I could find.

Storms and Wild Camping in Africa

Serengeti Tours

Since then, I have taken the tent into many wilderness areas but most notably, I have used this backpacking tent in the wilds of Africa. Why is this important? Well, you come face to face with every terrain and logistical matter when you go camping in places like the Serengeti. Terrain is rugged and unspoiled in these areas but the weather is also particularly unpredictable.

On one occasion, I was stood in the middle of a rain storm holding the corner or two tents in each hand while the occupants took shelter under a nearby tree. Seriously, I was pretty much flying two kites as the weather attempted to claim these two tents and send them flying into the wilderness. In case you might be asking yourself, I was leading an adventure tour at that time and fully responsible for the safety of my clients. In hindsight, this was an extremely dangerous as the Serengeti is home to some of the most spectacular lightning storms you are likely to encounter.

Anyway, throughout this episode, my Vango Banshee sat quietly in the corner and let out little more than a whimper as a storm raged around us. In fact, I remember looking back to see how it was doing and laughing at the resilience of my “cheap tent”. After all, the two tents I was holding had a combined value of more than $1500.

Why I Cannot Use My Vango Tent for the Pacific Crest Trail

Best Tents for Microadventures

You see, I am very attached to my outdoor gear and eventually, each piece becomes what seems like an important part of a story. From wildlife corridors and immense volcanoes to deserts, mountains and abandoned buildings; the Vango Banshee was with me for so many outdoor adventures and never let me down.

Alas, I am taking a long distance trek next month from Mexico to Canada and as you will probably see on my Pacific Crest Trail Blog, the weight and size of every item counts. In the case of the tent, my Vango weighs almost 2lb more than the one I have my eye on and this is quite a lot on a long distance hike. In fact, as far as weight goes, this would be considered quite a heavy backpacking tent for the Pacific Crest Trail.

More importantly, the inside of a Vango Banshee is very compact and confined. If you are looking for the best tent for microadventures, this is definitely a good shout in my option, and cheap too. However, while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018, there are likely to be times when I will need to wait out storms or rest up for the day in the tent and simply put, this is when space will matter.

For this reason, I will be leaving my Vango Banshee somewhere safe and purchasing a new home made of fabric. No mortgages here, my friends.


Do you have a favorite backpacking tent? Let me know in the comments – I love to hear about other peoples experiences with their outdoor gear!

Do You Ruminate In The Outdoors?

– a deep thought about something or philosophical ruminations about life and humanity.


In my own instance, rumination can be described as the regurgitation of negative feelings, significant events and times of hurt from the past. Whatever way I try to replay these events and scenarios, the outcome is always the same – anxiety, depression or feelings of low self-worth.

I spend quite a bit of time ruminating, something I try to avoid as much as possible but nevertheless, something I do often.

Rumination Studies at Stanford University

Several years ago, professors in Stanford University created a study in which hundreds of students were tasked with an afternoon stroll in one of two locations – a city neighborhood and a grassy woodland. Having spent one hour in either one of these locations, the subjects were then handed a questionnaire which was designed to calculate a specific level of rumination.

Without going into any great detail, the findings of this study clearly demonstrated how the walkers who spent this time in nature, produced a distinctly low level of rumination compared to those who remained in the city. Furthermore, the professors concluded that nature enables one to see the world in a different light and hence, encourages people to ignore rumination for the sake of realizing any given moment.
Continue reading Do You Ruminate In The Outdoors?

My Big White Thighs and Me (Outdoor Film Trailer)

Is this a contender for the most interesting outdoor film in 2018?

It certainly looks like it. My Big White Thighs and Me has just won at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShaFF) and looks set to inspire a horde of adventure seekers to get out of the living room and into their swimsuits.

My Big White Thighs and Me – A Film by Hannah Maia

My Big White Thighs

In short, the story follows a “young-ish woman” who has fallen out of love with her physical appearance. For this reason, Hannah Maia sets herself the goal of swimming in open water at least once a month for one year. As a result, the film follows Hannah as she searches out wild and beautiful places to keep her promise in hope that it will lead to a greater change.

Life is indeed better when you wear a swimsuit

At the same time, this is not just an outdoor adventure film, and more of a personal story about womanhood, miscarriage, healing and loving your own skin. The truth is, most of the words above are borrowed from Hannah’s description of her own film which is self produced at Maia Media. Furthermore, I obviously know nothing about womanhood or the reasons for which any healing might have been necessary in the first place.

However, I can appreciate a meaningful story and while the stunning scenes in this trailer are nothing short of mesmerizing, I feel as though the simplicity is what grips me and compels me to know more.

My Big White Thighs and Me is currently screening in various parts of the UK and due for release on digital download at a later date.